“This is no time to talk of hedges and fields, or the beauties of any country. Sadness and fear and hate, how they well up in the heart and mind!!!” Delving into Alan Paton’s ‘Cry the Beloved Country’ we certainly do have to cry for our beloved country, the ignominy, the blatant disregard for truth and justice, the dauntless power struggle, the huge sums of money donated for the survivors and next of kin of the victims of 21/4, the truth about 21/4 still a question that will most probably remain unanswered till dooms day. Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith fighting hard to find the answer, which he may probably never find or when he does, it will be so fragmented that it might never be put together again!
There will be hope for our country when all men and women alike desire neither power nor money, but to work together for the good of their country, for the well-being of every citizen. Let us not give too much nor be dazzled with too much of anything; let us rather be moved when the birds in the air are singing, when our children are laughing; not disgruntled with the rain but smiling when rainbows adorn the sky. As Paton says in his own words: “There is only one way in which one can endure man’s inhumanity to man and that is to try, in one’s own life, to exemplify man’s humanity to man.” How beautiful indeed! If we as a nation could display more humanity and less inhumanity to man, what a wonderful country this would be!
I’d like to give you some remarkably solemn platitudes to think about; let us not stress ourselves too much because nothing is permanent, no matter how bad the situation is, it will change! If you want to be strong, learn how to fight alone, never judge someone by the opinion of others; never stop learning because life never stops teaching, never lose hope, good things will come; believing in yourself is the first secret to success. Always remember that your present situation is not your final destination; the best is yet to come! The world is full of nice people, if you can’t find one, go ahead and be one! We must also never lose sight of the fact that in life, some people know us, others remember us and yet others like us. If we were lucky, a few will understand us, some will care for us, but a true friend does all of this and will always be there for us! In our life, we need friends, real friends, because they are the ones who laugh at the same stupid things we do, they give us honest advice, they are always there for us even if they were thousands of miles away, they celebrate with us when we are at our best and they still love us even at our worst.
It is very rarely in the world today that we find family, neighbours, friends, colleagues and others who will stand by us in our hour of need! By the same token, we also have to ask ourselves, have we stood by people who need us, regardless of who they are, whether they need us emotionally, spiritually, monetarily, materially – have we?
Looking around the world today, it is unsettling to read about the gigantic death tolls, most often caused through natural and unnatural disasters of enormous proportions and yet others by lone gunmen who think nothing, absolutely nothing of taking precious human lives! It is very rarely in the world today that we find family, neighbours, friends, colleagues and others who will stand by us in our hour of need! By the same token, we also have to ask ourselves, have we stood by people who need us, regardless of who they are, whether they need us emotionally, spiritually, monetarily, materially – have we? Sometimes, all someone needs is a hug, a patient hearing, an understanding heart, a kind word, and more often than not, these little spontaneous bits or acts of kindness in solidarity can mean the world to a person, could even save a life!
I think it would be correct to say that it is most important for us to extend solidarity in cases of addiction. Addiction is poignantly tragic. According to OUR DAILY BREAD and I quote: “Users build tolerance, so larger hits are required for the same high. Soon the dosage they seek is more than enough to kill them. When addicts hear someone has died from an exceptionally-strong batch, their first thought may not be fear but “Where can I get that?”
Tragic, so devastatingly tragic! Once they get their first taste, it is a downward spiral! Some people cannot connect their feelings with the trauma they are experiencing so they turn to drugs, alcohol, opioids and other addictive substances of which there are plenty today. These poor people, who desperately need our help, seldom or never ask for it; they are on a highway to the grave, leading down to the chambers of death.
To reinforce solidarity among people, we must initiate community development; build bridges among the various races and religions of our country, learn to cohabitate in peace and harmony, learn to be there for those in need whether emotionally, materially or otherwise. It is equally essential to support people not only in addictive substances but also those who are prone to addictive habits such as gambling, horse racing and other harmful occupations that take them away from kith and kin and generally leave them homeless and destitute. Personally, I feel one of the most dangerous, horrendous and destructive attitudes some parents and people adopt is in being unforgiving. Parents, especially from high-class families, refuse point blank to accept if their daughter elopes with some young man and more often than not if pregnant, forgiveness is totally out of the question. How can they refuse to acknowledge that the world we live in today is an advanced one, most certainly not the one it was in their time!
We are looking at a completely different sense of values; technology has advanced in leaps and bounds, morality has disintegrated, values have been shot to smithereens, the world and its system of values is upside down! So how, in the name of all that is holy, can the children of today be expected to live up to their parents’ genre?
We are looking at a completely different sense of values; technology has advanced in leaps and bounds, morality has disintegrated, values have been shot to smithereens, the world and its system of values is upside down! So how, in the name of all that is holy, can the children of today be expected to live up to their parents’ genre? Some fathers blatantly refuse to forgive; their pride won’t permit them to, so the end result is they continue to live in misery with themselves and everyone else making everyone’s life a living hell! Some even go to the extent of setting fire to what the girl has left behind – what absolute madness and how does that satisfy their stupid ego? Forgiveness is the key, the soothing balm that pours oil on troubled waters! It can bring balance and harmony to your life and restore connection with yourself, your inner-self and with others!
Keep going; your hardest times often lead to the greatest moments of your life! Keep going; tough situations build strong people in the end! Strong people exude solidarity!